January 31, 2007

A dear friend of mine, Judyth in Kansas, is hosting a swap called CQInternationalSwap2007. She pairs a lady from the US with a lady from another country. They then swap 4 times during the year. The first three are cq goodies and other things; the fourth is a needle book that we make. Today I got my first squishie from my swap sister. Her name is Daphne and she lives in Norwich, England. Let me tell you, this lady has wonderful taste in goodies. Just the fabric is sinfully rich and decadent. The laces, fibers, beads, and buttons are to die for. So look at my goodies, just remember not to drool on your keyboard.

January 27, 2007

T.A.S.T. and works in progress
This weeks stitch was the cretan, which is actually one I really like. I worked it on two of my blocks this week. The first one is what I call my "blue block". I don't have a lot of work done on this one yet. To the right and below the circles, I did three layers of the stitch in silk. I used green, dark blue, and cream threads. In the paisley block in the upper right hand corner, I used two different shades of gold silk threads and then interwove metallic fun fur through them. I am pleased with the way it turned out. I can't wait to see how the rest of the block finishes.

My second block is my "three flower" block. Again it is nowhere near being finished. On this one, I did 2 layers of the cretan stitch. This time I did the stitches tighter and closer together. They are on the red silk triangle at the bottom right.

January 21, 2007

3 inch blocks

Last week, we in CQforNewbies were discussing the new trend of "mini" blocks. Most of what I have seen were 1". That is just too small for me and my poor eyes. Lesa suggested making 3" blocks. I made one over the weekend. It didn't take a long time to put together or embellish.

I'm not sure what I would do with them. Definitely worth thinking about though.

January 20, 2007

Birthday squishie round up part two.

Susan sent me 2 beautiful tatted motifs she made; beautiful fabrics, including one with Renaissance ladies; crocheted laces; an adorable birdhouse siggie; and ribbons that she dyed along with some from Hand-dyed Fibers.

Wilma from the Netherlands sent me a beautiful cross stitched butterfly; lace from France and Germany; beautiful ribbons, fibers, beads, and buttons. She also an adorable wooden shoe keyring.
Renea sent me exquisite fabrics, lace, ribbons, and perle threads.
I would like to say thank you to Rebecca for hosting this swap and all the hard work she puts into it. You are one in a million Rebecca.
In my group CQforNewbies, we have a birthday swap. Each month there is a person signed up and she gets a squishie from each member of the swap group. December was my birthday. I got wonderful squishies from everyone. Blogger is only letting me upload a few pictures at a time so these will be in two posts.
This squishie came from Judyth in Kansas. Lots of luscious silk fibers and fabrics.
Laura sent me sumptuous fabrics, cute buttons, vintage lace and beads galore.
Marianne stuffed her squishie so full, it took 3 pictures to get all the goodies. She sent me lots of buttons and charms.
She also sent me lots of lace and trims.
She also sent me luscious silk fabrics, and a beautiful butterfly siggie.
Ati in Norway sent me an exquisite bobbin lace mandala she made. She also sent me a cross stitched Christmas tree, dove siggie, and lots of fabrics and fibers.
Bethany sent me gorgeous fabrics, hordes of lace, fibers, floss, and buttons. She also sent a cool piece of stone bead fringe.
Brenda sent me gergeous colored fabrics; lace, ribbons and fibers galore; an old world Santa siggie, and a red work tree pattern.
Elizabet from the UK sent me an adorable little girl and daisy siggie, a beaded clay face she made; and hand made lace from Malta.
Gerry sent me two beautiful Victorian siggies; rich fabrics with tons of beads to accentuate them; beautiful laces, fibers, and velvet ribbons.

Wisteria Block for T.A.S.T. week 3

Leaves are detached chains filled with a straight stitch. The stems are stem stitch and the flowers are french knots.

T.A.S.T. Week 3: Detached Chain

When thinking about what I was going to do with this weeks stitch, I immediately thought about leaves. I seem to be doing a lot of plants lately. I guess my master's degree in botany might come in handy after all. Won't my mother be pleased. Anyway, I free handed some stems and began adding leaves. As I was working the leaves, a memory from my childhood played in my mind. Maybe it was the fact that I mixed green and brown for the stems. Maybe it is simply that I am sick of bleak, dreary, cold, rainy, dark winter days here in the Big Easy.

When I was growing up, outside my bedroom window was a huge old Wisteria. My window faced the corner of the front yard, so there was a fence leading to the back and then a wooden fence from next door. Tendrils covered both fences and the ground. They climbed up the old oak tree that was there at the corner. One of the first signs of spring was the hundreds of blooms that covered the branches. Their weight pulled the branches down to the ground and made the fences almost invisible. I remember lying in bed with my window open in the morning letting the sweet fragrance fill my room. It was one of the first signs that spring was oh so close.

Now I know that by the time the leaves appeared, the flowers were long gone, long since replaced by long, thick, fuzzy green seed pods. So I took some artistic licence with my memory. So my depiction is not perfect, but neither are my memories.

My one hope now is that next weeks stitch is not the French knot. It is going to take me a little while to get over doing the hundred or so I did on this piece and it's not even finished!

January 13, 2007

It is official. Hell is currently getting colder......the New Orleans Saints have won the NFC Division championship and are one step closer to the Super Bowl. If the Seahawks win, the playoff game will be in New Orleans. If the Bears win, it will be in Chicago. GO BEARS!!!!!!!!!

January 12, 2007

As I was reading my friend Elizabet's blog tonight, I came across her post on Project Spectrum. I went to the blog and read Lolly's description of it. It sounds like something that will help me a great deal. I don't think I have a lot of "color" mixing sense. I think this exploration of color will allow me to make better and more cohesive choices when putting together my blocks.

Here is what Lolly has to say about Project Spectrum:

Colors inspire. Colors elicit deep emotions and memories. Colors symbolize life events and the changing of the seasons. We surround ourselves with color - in our homes, in our gardens, and even on our dinner plate.The idea of Project Spectrum is simply a celebration of the colors around us, and taking the time to notice them. Participants can dye, crochet, weave, decoupage, spin, build, stitch, knit, paint, scrapbook, construct, sew, quilt, cook, grow, collage, photograph, bake, or bead items in that color group (of course all arts and crafts that I missed are totally welcome as well!).
It is really about expressing yourself creatively - making something beautiful, and creating something unique with your hands. It is also about thinking outside of the box - perhaps taking up a new hobby, or a long neglected one, or finally dabbling in design.
You can choose to make one thing out of the designated color(s) in the two-month span - or twenty things! This is a no-pressure project. You can simply make a photo essay - you carry around your camera with you and post pictures of the color objects you see throughout your daily travels.
Projects can be big or small - whether you plan to tile your kitchen or photograph a blooming tree in your backyard - it is not a race, it is just about sharing your creative work to inspire others and express your spirit!

After seeing your suggestions, and mulling it over a bit on my own, I have come up with the list for this year's Project Spectrum. Starting this February - as in FOUR WEEKS from today! - we will embark on another exploration of the color wheel. This time, there will be more "wiggle room"; with each two month span there will be THREE colors or groups. This means that you can choose one of the colors and immerse yourself in it for two whole months, or you can use all three in your creative process.

February / March Blue, White, Gray
April / May Green, Yellow, Pink
June / July Red, Black, Metallics
August / September Brown, Orange, Purple

The color triads were picked randomly and fell in this nice little order. Three colors a month gives all of us more latitude and more room to explore.
It sounds very interesting and insightful to me.

January 10, 2007

Ok, what's my problem?? The buttonhole stitch is one of my favorite stitches. I started using it on a new block today. And what do you know, I am stuck. Oh, I can do the stitch no problem, but I am trying to expand my horizons and do more than just seams. I am trying to work lines of stitches across patches. Working on a seam is so easy for me, and I guess it is safe. I wanna walk on the wild side and work my way across a patch. My stitches in this patch want to tippie toe over to that patch. Stitches over there want to dance across these two patches to reach this seam over here. Oh what's a girl to do? My needle says come on let's play and my fingers say no way. I need to learn how to put what I see in my head onto my block. I also need to not use blue thread on blue fabric. My eyes are almost crossed trying to see the stitches I did accomplished. Oh well, tomorrow is another day.

January 08, 2007

The first installment of Sharon's T.A.S.T. began with the herringbone stitch. It was one I had done a little but not in a long while. Of course I spent the first few days of the week sick and in bed. The first couple of days I actually played with the stitch mentally, just dying to be able to work on it. I found that when I finally did, it was actually easier because of my mental "musings". I used a block I had made up. The first set of stitches I did was around the middle block. I really like the way the 3 sets of stitches make that center block look "embossed". It is very easy to see from the back but the front is so much prettier. I used 3 different threads also. The orangish thread is rayon; the green is silk and the yellow is cotton. The orangish and green threads I got from my dear friend from CQforNewbies yahoo group, Marianne. The second time I did the stitch, on the same block, I made it much wider and to me, it kinda resembles a braid. I really like this stitch and will definitely be using it more frequently.

Wonder what Sharon has in store for us this week.